‘Ter­ror trends in Europe are cause for con­cern’

The National - News - - NEWS - Caline Malek

The num­ber of coun­tries that ex­pe­ri­enced at least one death from ter­ror­ism was greater last year than at any time in the past 17 years, in­creas­ing from 65 in 2015 to 77 in 2016, ac­cord­ing to the Global Ter­ror­ism In­dex 2017.

And the over­all global score – which reg­is­ters the ef­fect of ter­ror­ism – de­creased by 4 per cent.

“The re­ally big im­prove­ment oc­curred in Nige­ria, be­cause Boko Haram was the dead­li­est group two years ago,” said Daniel Hys­lop, re­search di­rec­tor at the In­sti­tute for Eco­nom­ics and Peace, which de­vel­oped the re­port.

“Deaths have gone down 80 per cent, which means 3,000 fewer peo­ple be­ing killed from ter­ror­ism in that coun­try, thanks to co-op­er­a­tion in that re­gion.”

A more con­cern­ing trend is in Europe and in Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment coun­tries, where last year was the worst – ex­clud­ing 9/11 – since 1988 for ter­ror­ist deaths.

“When you look at the re­gion, it’s be­cause of an in­crease in lone ac­tor at­tacks and ISIL-in­spired ex­trem­ists,” he said.

“There were 82 deaths from ter­ror­ism in OECD coun­tries and there were 260 for the full year of 2016, so by raw count of deaths, there have been fewer deaths.”

But, he said, the trend could swing the other way.

“We know there’s a large num­ber of lone ac­tors that se­cu­rity ser­vices are mon­i­tor­ing and there’s al­ways the po­ten­tial for there to be an in­crease in the trend,” Mr Hys­lop said. “But the re­port also shows the num­ber of foiled at­tacks have im­proved, from 19 per cent in 2015 to 34 per cent in 2016.”

Since the Nice lorry at­tack in July last year, at least 13 other at­tacks us­ing ve­hi­cles have been car­ried out in OECD coun­tries, in­clud­ing the one in Man­hat­tan two weeks ago.

Eleven of these at­tacks tar­geted civil­ians, with at least six tar­get­ing crowds.

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